Part of Boracay beach closed off for poop cleanup

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Part of Boracay beach closed off for poop cleanup

MANILA, Philippines— The Boracay inter-agency task force on Wednesday temporarily closed off an area of the beach where a tourist allegedly let her child defecate.

In a text message to Philstar.com, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the area was closed to the public on Wednesday morning "by instructions of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu."

The Local Government Unit of Malay, headed by acting Mayor Hon. Frolibar Bautista, cordoned off a portion of the beachfront in Station 1 after the reported incident.

Puyat said the area was closed for clean up, adding swimming in the area will be temporarily prohibited.

Viral video

The area is believed to be where a viral video of tourist letting her child defecate on the beach was taken. The woman was seen washing her child's buttocks while another woman was seen burying a diaper in the sand.

The video went viral on Monday and eventually reached the attention of authorities.

The Boracay inter-agency taskforce and the local government unit of Malay are already addressing the issue.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda thanked the uploader of the viral video.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo kasi pinost niya ang video pero mas magpapasalamat sana tayo kung naituro niya ang mga may kagagawan nito,” Antiporda said in a radio interview with dzBB.

(We thank the person who posted the video but we would be even more thankful if they are able to point out who did this)

“Sad to say na sa sobrang dami ng tao, hindi po ito natyempuhan ang may kagagawan niyan,” he added.

(Sad to say that with so many people on the beach, we were not able to catch the offenders in the act)

He said the offender, if caught, may face penalties for violating environmental laws.

Under Malay’s Municipal Ordinance No. 311, series of 2012 or “Anti-Littering” ordinance, littering, urinating, defecating, spitting, vandalizing and dumping trash in public places are prohibited.

Following the incident, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources said it would intensify its information drive on the rules and regulation in the newly rehabilitated tourist destination.

Puyat last Tuesday encouraged the public to report similar incidents to the authorities.

READ: Report environment lawbreakers — tourism chief

Boracay was closed to the public for six months in 2018 on President Rodrigo Duterte's orders. He said at the time that the island had become a cesspool.

The six-month closure, which started on April 26, 2018 and ended October 2018, paved way for the rehabilitation and environmental restoration of the world-famous island.

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